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Monday, November 05, 2012

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

It is just me, or is Snow White one hot mama in the world of entertainment?

It seems as though Snow White has appeared in dozens of brand new movies and television shows over the last decade. In 2012, we have already had two Snow White themed film releases. In March, there was the Julia Roberts film “Mirror, Mirror”, and later this year we watched Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, and Charlize Theron acting in “Snow White and the Huntsman”.

But there are so many more interpretations and re-imagining of Snow White than just those two films. Would you believe that the following film and television projects have also featured Snow White?

There was a silent film released in 2012 entitled”Blancanieves”, which was set in 1920s era Andalusia, Spain.
A direct-to-video release was also released in 2012 which starred Jane March and Eliza Bennett.

Beginning in 2011, the television series “Once Upon A Time” , Jennifer Morrison began playing the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, who holds the key to dispelling a curse on a Maine town in which everybody is a storybook character whose happiness has been sucked away by the Evil Queen.
The 2007 film, “Sydney White”, which starred Amanda Bynes, is a modern retelling of the classic tale.
Snow White also made an appearance in the 2001 animated feature, "Shrek".
Perhaps one of the most macabre versions of the classic Snow White story was filmed in 1997, which was called “Snow White: A Tale of Terror”. This interpretation featured Sigourney Weaver and Sam Neill.

I'm telling you, Snow White is enjoying a comeback like no other. It's even more spectacular than Britney Spears becoming a judge on the X-Factor.

Of course, everyone knows the classic story of Snow White. It's been a story that has been told for at least two hundred years, with early origins dating back to Germany in 1812, when the Brothers Grimm included the story in one of their collections. In German, the title was Schneewiitchen und die sieben Zwerge. In English, it became Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

Although several variations of Snow White were told all over Europe, the German version was the one that most people are familiar with. And, I'm just going under the assumption that you know what the story is about. I am only assuming that you know about the magic mirror telling the Wicked Queen that her stepdaughter, Snow White, is the fairest in the land, and that she summons a huntsman to kill her. You already know that the huntsman chickened out and abandoned Snow White where she stumbled upon a cottage filled with seven dwarves who basically made her their personal live-in maid. You probably even know that the Queen disguises herself as an old woman who puts Snow White into a magic-indused coma, courtesy of a poison filled apple, and that the only way she will come out of the coma is to be given “love's first kiss”.

Besides, this blog isn't about the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Instead, we're going to take a look at some of the behind the scenes moments and never before known facts about what is probably the most famous version of all of the various Snow White movie versions.

Yes, today's Monday Matinee is all about the 1937 classic Disney film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves”.

And now, here's all the things about the film that you probably didn't know.

1 – The film premiered at the Carthay Circle Theatre on December 21, 1937. It was released nationally on February 4, 1938.

2 – Snow White and the Seven Dwarves was a film that had a lot of firsts. It was the first full-length cel animated motion picture, the first film produced entirely in the United States, the first film to be produced in full colour, and the first full-length Walt Disney Productions film.

3 – A total of six people were credited as being a director of the movie; William Cottrell, Wilfred Jackson, Larry Morey, Perce Pierce, Benjamin Sharpsteen, and David Hand.

4 – The film was named as the greatest American animated film of all time by the American Film Institute in 2008.

5 – In 1989, the film was added to the United States National Film Registry due to its cultural significance.

6 – It was Walt Disney's idea to give names to the previously unnamed dwarves (although they were given names in the 1912 Broadway musical of the same name). As you all know, the names of the seven dwarves are Doc, Dopey, Happy, Sleepy, Sneezy, Grumpy, and Bashful. But did you know that Jumpy, Deafy, Hickey, Wheezy, Baldy, Gabby, Nifty, Sniffy, Swift, Lazy, Puffy, Stuffy, Tubby, Shorty, and Burpy were also contenders? Could you imagine seeing dwarves named Deafy or Burpy featured in the film?

7 – The voice of Snow White was provided by Adriana Caselotti (1916-1997). She was a former MGM chorus girl and was paid less than a thousand dollars for her role. She was named a Disney Legend in 1994, the first female to earn such an honour in the voice category.

8 – When the film won an Academy Award, it was a rather “special one”. In addition to the main statuette, the award was accompanied by seven miniature ones, to represent each of the seven dwarves.

9 – Keep a close eye on the stone wall as the Queen walks down the steps to perform the spell that transforms her into the old woman. Three of them form the silhouette of Mickey Mouse.

10 – A total of twenty-five different songs were composed for the soundtrack of the film. Only eight ended up making the final cut.

11 – The Prince was supposed to have a larger part in the film, but when animators found it difficult to animate him, the role was reduced.

12 – Mel Blanc was originally considered to voice the part of Dopey, but the decision was later made to make Dopey a non-speaking role.

13 – The production team of the film included 32 animators, 102 assistants, 167 “in-betweeners”, 20 layout artists, 25 water colour artists, 65 effects animators, and 158 female inkers/painters.

14 – A total of two million illustrations were made while the film was being produced.

15 – Here's an interesting story about the actress who voiced the Queen, Lucille La Verne. Initially she was told by Walt Disney's animators that they needed a raspier, older version of the Queen's voice in order to play the old witch character. To their surprise, she pulled it off by taking out her false teeth!

16 – Animator Wolfgang Reitherman agonized over the animation process for the Magic Mirror for days. It took him nine times to get it right.

17 – Animator Ward Kimball almost left the project after two of his main sequences were left on the cutting room floor. Walt Disney ended up convincing him to stay by offering him the chance to animate a character in his next planned feature film. That character ended up being Jiminy Cricket from “Pinocchio”.

18 – It seems strange to even write this down, but the film was reportedly the favourite film of Adolf Hitler!

19 – Sleepy is the only dwarf in the movie to NOT be kissed by Snow White

20 – If the scream that the Queen lets out towards the end of the film sounds familiar, it's because it was also used at the end of “Sleeping Beauty”.

21 – This film was the very first release in Disney's Platinum Edition DVD series in October 2001. It sold one million copies during its first day of release.

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